Leslie Moonves is under investigation by CBS after reports surfaced about a New Yorker exposé that allegedly accuses him of sexual misconduct.
CBS’ independent directors addressed misconduct accusations — without directly referring to Moonves — in a statement obtained by Us Weekly on Friday, July 27. “All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously,” the network said. “The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.”
The statement continued: “The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute. While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members. Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners.” Moonves is in a legal battle with Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder in CBS and Viacom whose role the board hopes to diminish.
The New Yorker article, set to be published on Friday, reportedly includes allegations of unwanted kissing and touching made against the 68-year-old CBS CEO. Some of the claims allegedly go back more than 20 years, while others are more recent.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ronan Farrow, who wrote the exposé, spent months investigating Moonves and the CBS work environment. The journalist notably won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking allegations against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Moonves joined CBS in 1995, and throughout his time there has made the network into a ratings juggernaut with series including The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, Everybody Loves Raymond and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
He wed Julie Chen in December 2004. The Big Brother host, 48, and the CBS chairman share one son: 8-year-old Charlie.